“To Grow Exceedingly Wicked Again”

Brant Gardner

The introduction of wickedness is the murder of the chief judge. Once again we must note that while Mormon is reporting on historical events, he is not reporting as a historian. Mormon reports these events because they have a purpose in his narrative, a purpose that transcends antiquarian interests and becomes a model of the greater cosmic patterns of life. Thus the murder of the judge initiates the beginning of the increase in wickedness in Mormon’s narrative. It is his purpose to show that the wickedness increases after the events that were set in motion by the Gadiantons, as he will describe in the next few verses.

From the perspective of a modern social historian, Mormon is probably technically incorrect in placing the increase in “wickedness” after the murder. It is much more likely that the social dissent and pressures that led to the murder of the chief judge were already in motion and led to the assassination. Nevertheless, it fits Mormon’s editorial purpose best for this order to be inverted.

Chronological: The sixty-seventh year of the reign of the judges corresponds to 28 BC in the correlation used in this commentary.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon